Investor interest in safer assets put pressure on the rand on Thursday, with the local currency pushing towards the psychologically important R14.50/$ level. At 2pm, the rand was 0.44% weaker at R14.4391/$, having earlier reached R14.4945/$. It was 0.34% softer at R16.0840/€ and 0.27% weaker at R18.2498/£. The rand has found some support from political developments this week, with ANC deputy president David Mabuza declining to take up the same position in the state executive until he has cleared himself of allegations of impropriety. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce his Cabinet on Sunday, and while analysts said the market was looking at the size of the cabinet and its composition, they noted that further developments regarding Eskom’s debt would be more likely to determine the currency’s direction. Global risk-factors persist, and among the litany of events, the SA Reserve Bank will give its latest stance on monetary policy at 3pm, while ongoing European Parliament...

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